Yusupha Kujabi

Ashoka Fellow
Serekunda, The Gambia
Fellow Since 1998


This profile was prepared when Yusupha Kujabi was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1998.
The New Idea
Yusupha Kujabi designs easy-to-make solar energy devices and trains rural groups to use and reproduce them. To these, he adds solar food processing and preservation techniques that can be used to generate income and achieve self-sufficiency. These new strategies meet urgent needs in West Africa where the rural poor face chronic food shortages aggravated by the absence of cheap food-preservation technologies. To prepare and preserve food, the poor often resort to inefficient and environmentally unsound technologies that burn coal and create health hazards. To avoid dependence on costly imported solutions for this problem, his organization also trains the grassroots populations – women's groups in particular – to manufacture and service the solar equipment.
Yusupha works at length with communities to help them adjust to and accept his technologies and to ensure that they are cost-effective. His designs are flexible and accommodate the needs of diverse communities from rural to peri-urban, from Gambia to Cape Verde and Senegal. His vision is to improve the human and ecological health of the region itself, and to this end he is replicating his work as broadly as possible.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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